Preliminary data showed that the country’s gross international reserves (GIR) rose to US$82.60 billion as of end-March 2016, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. announced today.1,2 This level was higher by US$0.72 billion than the end-February 2016 GIR of US$81.88 billion due mainly to net foreign currency deposits by the National Government (NG) (which include proceeds from its issuance of ROP Global Bonds amounting to US$495 million and from program loans extended by the Asian Development Bank), as well as the BSP’s income from investments abroad, and revaluation adjustments on the BSP’s foreign currency-denominated reserves. These were partially offset by payments made by the NG for its maturing foreign exchange obligations and revaluation adjustments on the BSP’s gold holdings resulting from the decrease in the price of gold in the international market.
The end-March 2016 GIR level can cover 10.3 months’ worth of imports of goods and payments of services and income. It is also equivalent to 5.4 times the country’s short-term external debt based on original maturity and 4.0 times based on residual maturity.
Net international reserves (NIR), which refer to the difference between the BSP’s GIR and total short-term liabilities, also increased by US$0.72 billion to US$82.59 billion as of end-March 2016, compared to the end-February 2016 NIR of US$81.87 billion.
1 The final data on GIR are released to the public every 19th day of the month in the Statistics section of the BSP’s website under the Special Data Dissemination Standards (SDDS). If the 19th day of the month falls on a weekend or is a non-working holiday, the release date shall be the working day nearest to the 19th.
2 Short-term debt based on residual maturity refers to outstanding external debt with original maturity of one year or less, plus principal payments on medium- and long-term loans of the public and private sectors falling due within the next 12 months.